Sunday, 17 June 2012

FILM@LXG: Prometheus_ Android Love

I watched Prometheus. Epic. It took about five minutes after the end credits for me to remember to close my mouth. Mostly for the right reasons... although there were some scenes that just left me stunned and I'm still not sure why - perhaps just waiting for my brain to still catch up.

Ridley Scott goes to places few other directors dare to venture - and on this wild celluloid ride into humanity's future/destiny/fate/origins, his pivotal character is ironically not human at all...

"David" is a state-of-the-art android; caretaker and steward of the human crew who set out for the stars aboard the starship, Prometheus.

He is just the latest incarnation of a line of memorable, more-human-than-human robot characters brought to life by Ridley Scott and those that followed in his wake. In the Alien franchise alone, we now have A, B, C, and D: Ash, Bishop, Call and of course David.

But to me the greatest on-screen rendition of a robot at odds with his prime directive is Roy Batty, the Nexus-6 Replicant, who stole every scene in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner.

Scott's love affair with the robot has taken him full circle, and in the disturbingly perfect semblance of humanity that is David, we see what in many ways may have been the beginnings of Roy, before the experiences of his volatile 4-year existence had taken their toll.

As Tyrell refers to Roy Batty as his 'prodigal son', so too does Peter Weyland describe David as the 'closet thing he ever had to a son'; that similar, tragic relationship between machine and maker...

Given time to develop, 8th Gen. David  may one day question his role of carrying out tasks that his "human counterparts find... distressing." But of course that's a potential storyline for Scott to decide on. Hopefully he will.

There are many things that can be said about Prometheus, and its obviously going to be spoken about for many years to come. But David as portrayed by Michael Fassbender (the performance of his career, thus far) is set to become a truly iconic character.

(I always believed there could be no-one else to reprise the role of Roy Batty in any sequel/reload of Blade Runner, which was why I have been against such an idea. But now in Fassbender, I see a fitting successor to Rutger Hauer's haunting portrayal).

Mr. C

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